Tech Buyer's Perspective
Every day I am having conversations with our customers about the challenges of solution bundling, upsell and cross-sell. Upsell and cross-sell is hard. The reason this is hard is because often times, customers don’t know the full scope of solution offerings a solution provider offers. Tech buyers are receiving bits and pieces of the information via emails, phone calls and disconnected channels. They don’t have time to put all the pieces together.
Solution Provider's Perspective
From the solution provider's perspective, this is hard because the technology is changing fast. Solution providers typically have over a dozens of vendor partnerships. Consider a solution provider sales rep who just got trained and certified on a new solution. Sales rep is not selling just one vendor solution but the sales rep may represent Dell EMC, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft Azure, Palo Alto, VMware, Rubrik and solutions from many more vendor partners combined with the managed services of the solution provider. There are multiple solutions from the same vendor. This portfolio of solutions is always evolving. For a sales rep, keeping up with all the technologies is hard. It is even harder for the sales rep to create a unique solution bundle based on the specific need of the tech buyer. Each tech buyer may have different technology stack in their organization and they expect the solution provider sales rep to provider a custom tailored solution for their specific organization and a roadmap to step by step move to the cloud for example. This requires sales rep to create a solution bundle for the unique needs of this tech buyer situation. And this is where the complexity comes. If the sales rep presents a generic solution bundle to the tech buyer, tech buyer doesn’t like it and it doesn’t result into a sales.
For a solution provider sales rep, creating solution bundles on demand for a unique customer need is hard. But for the cross-sell and upsell, the solution bundling capability for the unique needs of the tech buyer is revenue critical. This also requires content from the solution provider, vendors and industry.
The Tech Buyer Experience Gap
To create solution bundles on demand requires lot of things to come together. It requires access to lot of content from multiple vendors, industry magazines, experts, product reviews, analyst reports and solution providers own content such as case studies. It requires knowledge of the solutions and science to put the right mix together. It needs to be done in minutes and not months. Traditionally creating these solution bundles have taken months before sales team is enabled. Speed to market is so critical today to engage the modern tech buyers and proactively educating the buyers. The old sales playbook is no longer relevant in the digital age and changing tech buyer demographics.
All these friction points have created a big buyer experience gap between the solution provider sales reps and tech buyers. To bridge this gap, solution providers need to make the information available to the sales reps in a way that can be bundled instantly to create a solution for the specific customer situation.
It shouldn’t be this hard.
While learning with our solution provider customers, we developed this unique solution bundling capability and science in our Sales Edge product to enable the sales reps in the digital age. With SalesEdge, sales reps are creating solution bundles instantly and presenting to the tech buyers in a professional way. This enables a premier buyer experience and educates the buying committee of the tech buyers. Presenting the relevant information at the right time continue to build trust with the tech buyers and increases the overall consumption of the services provided by the solutions providers – ultimately resulting into more upsell / cross-sell and increased life time value of the customers.
Experts say that cost of sales to existing customers is 4 times lower than to a brand new customer. So if you have group of customers who have consumed only one or two solutions from you, you have great opportunity to educate these customers about your full solution offerings and upsell.
I would love to hear how your sales reps are creating bundles today and how you are educating your tech buyers to achieve your revenue goals.